OTC expands childcare services thanks to new grant

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks Technical Community College is expanding its childcare services thanks to a new grant.

OTC’s early childhood center will begin serving infants and toddlers starting in the fall of 2021.

The center currently serves children between the ages of two to five-years-old.

OTC is working to provide childcare to more families, like the Busick’s.

“Just to know that we have the opportunity to be in an amazing childcare facility it eases my heart,” Lacey Busick an OTC employee and parent said.

Busick is pregnant with her second daughter.

Thanks to the new grant, OTC is opening an infant and toddler room.

“My oldest daughter actually attends OTC here she’s in the adventure room,” Busick said.

Busick says she enjoys being able to check in on her daughter during her lunch breaks.

“It just makes me so excited and happy so we are hoping that we are able to get in,” Busick said.

OTC’s early childhood center also serves as a laboratory school.

“So we have practicum students that are working in our classrooms along with our teaching staff,” Jennifer Crouch the ECEC Director at OTC said.

Crouch says the expansion will work to meet community needs.

“I get multiple calls a week for care for children under two for employees for students here at OTC and then just from the community-at-large too,” Crouch said. “In the past, I’ve just had to refer them to other places who have very long waiting lists so it’s definitely something that’s a need.”

Grant funds will be used to renovate a space for a new classroom, improve another classroom, buy furniture and supplies, and pay for training for new staff members.

With the expansion, the ECEC will be able to serve up to 88 children between the ages of birth to five-years-old.

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